Organic Curry Leaves

Organic Curry Leaves
Organic Curry Leaves
300676 003
Net Weight:
1 oz
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The curry tree (Murraya koenigii or Bergera koenigii) is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae (the rue or citrus family) and is closely related to grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, mandarin and orange. The Curry tree is native to India and Sri Lanka.

Don't confuse Curry Leaves with curry powder, of which there are hundreds of variations. Curry powders are made with many different combinations of spices and Curry Leaves may be an ingredient in some curry powder versions. Don't expect that adding Curry Leaves to a dish by itself will provide enough curry flavor.

Curry Leaves are also called Diao liao jiu li xiang (Mandarin), Waraq al-kari (Arabic), Feuilles de Cari, Feuilles de Curry, Caloupilé or Carripoulé (French), Curryblätter (German), Karipatta, Mitha nim, Mitha neem patta (Hindi), Kare-rifu, Nanyozansho (Japanese), Folhas de Caril (Portuguese), Listya karri (Russian) and Folhas de Caril, Hoja or Hojas de Curry (Spanish).  In the US, they are typically referred to as Curry Leaves, but may also sometimes be referred to as sweet neem leaves.


History of Curry Leaves

In English usage, curry has a wide meaning encompassing both spicy foods of various kinds and also Indian spice mixtures ("curry powder"). The word curry is of Indian origin, in Tamil, the most predominate language in South India and Sri Lanka, the word "kari" translates to "soup" or "sauce". The Tamil name for Curry Leaves is kariveppilai which contains "ilai" which means "leaf".


Cultivation of Curry Leaves

The curry tree is native to India and Sri Lanka and today is found growing wild or cultivated throughout most of the Indian sub­continent except for the higher levels of the Himalayas. Curry trees are found in the Inner Terai valleys in Nepal which is just south of the outer foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and the tree has also been found as far East as Burma.

A relatively small tree, it rarely grows above 30 feet. The aromatic leaves are pinnate (having leaflets arranged on either side of the stem, typically in pairs opposite each other), with 11-21 leaflets per branch, each leaflet is 0.79-1.57" long and 0.39-0.79" wide. The tree produces small white flowers which may self-pollinate producing small bright black berries that contain a single, large fruit. The berry pulp is edible and has a sweet, medicinal flavor but neither the berry nor the seed has any culinary applications.

Our Organic Curry Leaves are grown in India.


Cooking with Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are an integral part of Southern Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine and can be found in a few Northern Indian recipes as well. Immigrants from Southern India migrated to Cambodia, Malaysia, Reunion and South Africa and Curry Leaves can also be found in some recipes from these areas as well. They're rarely found outside the Indian sphere of influence.

Curry Leaves are popular in the Indian dishes of Kadhi, Rasam and Vada. In South Indian kitchens, curry leaves are often sauteed in oil with asafoetida and mustard seeds and added to fresh coconut chutney, dals, or vegetable dishes. In Cambodia they're roasted over an open flame and then crushed into the sour soup Maju Krueng. Curry Leaves are used in some Indonesian dishes, but not as frequently as makrut lime, lemon basil, pandan or turmeric leaves.

Use Curry Leaves in the same way you use bay leaves, but unlike bay leaves, these leaves are softer and you do not need to remove before serving.

Like many spices used in India and Southeast Asia, Curry Leaves are frequently toasted in a pan with oil before adding other ingredients. Slowly cooking the leaves this way enhances the aroma and releases the volatile oils. Left in the pan, these intensified flavors are infused into the dish as other ingredients are added. The leaves can be eaten with the meal or removed before eating.

In addition to curries, we like to add Curry Leaves to fish, lamb, lentil broths, rice and vegetable dishes.

Curry Leaves work well in combination with cardamom, chili powder, cilantro, coconut, cumin, fenugreek, garlic, mustard, pepper and turmeric.    

We used our Curry Leaves to make a delicious Instant Pot Coconut Fish Curry.


Dried vs. Fresh Curry Leaves

As with most dried leafy spices, if you can find fresh they're usually superior, but fresh can be difficult to find and these are an excellent alternative to have available. In the fresh form, they have a very short shelf life and should not be stored in the refrigerator.


What Do Curry Leaves Taste Like

Curry leaves have a subtle aroma of roasted curry with an understated flavor that is faintly spicy and bitter with citrus undertones.

We've even seen the flavor described as an herbaceous way to add umami flavor to a dish. We agree that it does provide some of the umami characteristics.


Most Common Questions About Curry Leaves

What's the best substitute for Curry Leaves?
Unlike like some herbs, there is not a really good substitute for Curry Leaves. Some cooks say that you can use bay leaves, basil or lime zest (or some combination of these). We don't really agree and feel that Makrut Lime Leaves will work in a pinch, but even they won't provide a really close flavor match.

How many Curry Leaves per ounce?
Dried curry leaves are extremely light. One ounce is equal to almost 4 cups by volume.


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4.2 out of 5
5 total ratings.

Alison S. (Verified buyer) 09/21/2021
Just perfect So I had a house fire and had to replace everything I had. This includes all my spices. I chose to replace everything with SpiceInc. products. I do not regret my decision. I have not gotten to try out all of them yet but I have used quite a few and they are great! You can smell the freshness when you open them. None of that bland what could it be spices from the grocery store. Definitely give them a try you won’t regret it.

Mike D. (Verified buyer) 04/07/2020
Great! Great!

Heather R. (Verified buyer) 11/23/2019
So happy I discovered these! I love these! I am 49 years old and this is the first I have discovered using curry leaves. They add a subtle curry flavor. So far I have I cooked them in chicken soup, lentil soup, and my chicken with spaghetti squash dish. I have combined them with ginger, cumin, garlic, and onion. I think they would be delicious in any savory dish. I crumble them directly into whatever I'm cooking. They are soft and add little delicate flecks of green. They are not tough at all so they do not need to be removed from the food before serving. I plan to buy more next time!

Joan S. (Verified buyer) 04/20/2022
Curry leaves are just compost I keep meaning to return the organic curry leaves. They have no flavor whatsoever. I have never received such a bad product. Do not buy them! It is sad because the chilis are great.

glassy~ 05/29/2020
My Curry Leaves You asked me what I thought about the curry leaves I bought last month. To tell the truth, I am still looking for the 'right' recipe to use with them. I want to like them- but never used anything like them - I'm wondering what they will taste like too. When I know, you will too. I love to get new spices and make my own blend of spices/herbs. The last time I ordered from you I ordered not only curry leaves but several other spices/blends too. I like all of them - the last blend I made was Baharat . I bought Berbere from you just to see if yours was better than what I made. Yours was sweeter than mine and I can see where I would need both of them. I am 80 years old and just now using blends that I want to use in my food. It's wonderful! Thanks ...